Tuesday, June 06, 2006

mark of the beast

So today is the mythic date of 06/06/06.... which is considerably less-mythic once you realize it happens every 100 years. Even to boil down the date to the Lucifer-heralding "666", you need to drop a bunch of zeroes and a two, so the whole superstition about today's date is hogwash. So, the only date this actually would work on would be in the year 6 A.D., but that year wasn't even established until the modern Christian calendar was developed sometime in the fifteenth century, or maybe even more recently than that. That said, it doesn't stop the local news from playing their cute little segment about it every half hour, getting reaction from people on the street. I must admit, though, that even I stop and think for a moment when my lunch across the street from work costs me $6.66.

So, I didn't have any idea what the 666 sequence even meant until I saw the actually-it's-really-bad-but-somewhat-enjoyably-campy Stay Tuned (1992) (hey, does anybody remember this movie?). Starring John Ritter (and Mindy from "Mork & Mindy") as a man who gets caught in his television after he buys a satellite dish from the devil (hence the occasional play on 666), and is forced to live as a part in hellish (ha) programming like "Northern Overexposure" and "Driving Over Miss Daisy". One can argue that such programming in our own real world probably isn't too far off.

Sticking with the devil theme, "The Simpsons" knocked one out of the park a few weeks ago when they aired an episode about creationism versus evolution being taught in schools. Some say that the show has lacked its spark for years now, but if I catch a new episode they reliably always have at least one joke that genuinely gets me to laugh out loud. This creationism episode was so much like the glory days of vintage "Simpsons", and they had some very smart and very barbed comedy: an exhibit about the "Myth of Creation" at the natural history museum with the hand of God sparking down against the earth, springing up fig-leaf clad Adam and Eve; the elementary school playing a video paid for by the Christian right, comparing the Bible with Charles Darwin's The Origin of Species written in dripping blood.... and then Darwin makes out with Satan. Absolutely brilliant. May "The Simpsons" remain on television forever.

So, whatever mythological Christian hooplah it is that has branded "666" as the "mark of the beast" I'm not sure, but to this day that term seems to me most appropriate for my high school Spanish 4 teacher.

1 comment:

shecanfilmit said...

Hmmm. Talking about numbers. I was no. 69 a few times in a row at In-n-Out. What's that mean?